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Category — Fun Trips

Let Kids Ham It Up for Family Vacation Pics

Universal Studios Jurassic Park photosDo your kids refuse to cooperate for family vacation photos?  If you are a photo-taking maniac, chances are good that they are sick of posing in front of touristy spots for family pictures.  If you can’t get them to cooperate at all, then I have the cure. Let them “not cooperate”.  Have you looked at your teen’s facebook page lately?  It is loaded with really strange and goofy self portraits of themselves and equally odd photos of their friends. That is apparently what teens are after these days.

So let them be goofy. You already have enough “pretty” pictures of your kids, so why not just let them be dorks, and take photos of them having tons of fun!

In other words, when you’re on vacation, don’t pose them in front of cool stuff and and order your children to put on fake smiles — get involved!  Ham it up!!  Your photos will really capture the fun they are having and they won’t whine every time you want to take their picture.  It will make the trip all the more memorable, and they’ll have fun at the same time.  No doubt they will probably even share these “family pictures” with their friends, and you’ll have memories for a lifetime.

(These photos were taken during our Thanksgiving trip to Universal Islands of Adventure Tips at the Jurassic Park section of the park.)

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October 4, 2012   Comments Off

Going Native

A few years ago, we took our three children on a whirlwind 3 day trip to New York City.  It was a weekend-long family reunion, so we crammed a lot into our short stay in New York and had a great time.

We saw museums, visited the Empire State Building,  enjoyed the Circle Line tour around the Statue of Liberty, rode subways, took precarious taxi rides, walked around Central Park, and still managed to get to all the family events.  In spite of the cram packed schedule, the biggest complaint we had from the kids was that they wish we could have stayed longer!  I agreed!

The ultimate travel trip for me would be to actually live in a big city or foreign country and enjoy new experiences from the perspective of the residents, or as I like to call it — “going native.”  In my dreams I imagine myself checking out New York City apartment rentals and taking an extended vacation for a few months to truly enjoy everything a big city has to offer.

Since I can take my job with me almost anywhere, this idea isn’t actually that far fetched.  So, while I’m dreaming,  I guess I’d better add some more items to my bucket list of places I’d like to go native. I’ll start with that little Mexican beach town I once visited, then hit Greece, Rome, Rio….  After all, every vacation I’ve ever had started with a dream. What’s yours?!

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May 21, 2012   Comments Off

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat – Dr Doom’s Fear Fall

Road Trip review from Big Bro, one of Road Trip Mom’s kids!

The most thrilling ride for me  at the Universal Studios Theme Park was in the Islands of Adventure park, and it is called Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall. You enter the ride with your party and are isolated from the other riders.  Before the ride begins, a scary voice comes on and tells you that all safety protocol will be ignored.  Then shoots you straight up into the air at what seems like a million miles an hour, and as soon as it gets to the top it shoots you downwards faster than gravity can pull you.

I had a great deal of fun trying to convince my younger sisters to go on it with me.  They were terrified at first, but after they went on it once they each went four more times. The ride is very intimidating to look at but it is a blast to go on. The lines were also very short when we went with little to no waiting for a seat. The view at the top of the ride is also outstanding, with the whole park in front of you and the beautiful Florida landscape behind you. I highly recommend this ride to anyone who is looking for thrills at this park.

Keep reading for lots of tips on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios theme parks.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by my road trip son! He’s helping me out with his own backseat opinions on some of our recent travels.  Let’s give him a hand!

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February 8, 2012   Comments Off

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat: Rip Ride Rock-It Rollercoaster

By The Back Seat Reviewer — Road Trip Mom’s Daughter!

On my recent trip to Universal studios, one of the most thrilling and original rides in the park was the Hollywood Rip Ride Rock-It. This bright red roller coaster covered in dazzling florescent lights could be seen from anywhere in the park. The fun starts the moment you get to the front of the line. Immediately after you sit down and pull your seat belt across your lap, you have 30 seconds to choose a song from a variety of music. Choices range from music by Fergie, to songs like I Will Survive; so everyone can get a song they know. If you don’t pick your song before the ride starts, on is picked for you. The song you picked will play out of speakers by your ears throughout your ride.

Unlike most roller coasters that have a steady incline that brings you to the top of the first hill, the Rock-It saves space with a vertical climb to the top of the park, followed by an equally frightening near-vertical drop. After that comes a series of stomach churning loop de loops and cork screw turns that rip through the park. The whole time your face is being recorded by a camera on the back of the seat in front of you so that when the ride is over, you have an opportunity to view and purchase your own music video. The only problem is that because this is one of the most popular rides in the park, the line gets extremely long and there is no express line, so getting there early is a must. All and all this an amazing ride that anyone who love roller coasters and music should be sure to ride.

Keep reading for lots of tips on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios theme parks.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by one of my road trip daughters! She and her sister are becoming regulars on my website with their product reviews and backseat opinions.

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January 30, 2012   1 Comment

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat: Dragon Challenge

By The Back Seat Reviewer — Road Trip Mom’s Daughter!

Don’t miss the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.  As you walk through the Forbidden Forest trail, past Hagrid’s Hut, Ron’s beat up old car, and visit the Goblet of Fire, you can catch a glimpse of the two dragons. Choose either the red or the blue dragon and strap in!  The best seats are either the front half or the very back. Your feet dangle off as you ride your dragon through twists and turns. The scariest part is when you flip upside down and pass within a yard or two of the other dragon and it looks like you’re going to crash with the other roller coaster!

This happens several times and the passengers of each dragon scream!  While you are up at the top,  you  can see the entire park and all of Hogsmeade. This ride is very fun for those who love a wild ride.

Keep reading for lots of tips on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios theme parks.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by one of my road trip daughters! She and her sister are becoming regulars on my website with their product reviews and backseat opinions.

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January 19, 2012   1 Comment

We Loved Wizard World!

We did it!  We visited Universal Orlando’s two wonderful theme parks which included The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.   We toured the parks for two and a half days over Thanksgiving weekend 2010, and had a fantastic time.  I have to admit that my wonderful travel companions (my three kids) made the trip a joy forever.

We learned a lot during our visit, and I have written up an article full of tips to help other families enjoy their trips there as well.  Please check out my full article about Universal Orlando Tips and Advice – A few tips to make your visit to Universal Theme Parks and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter More Enjoyable!

Read the full article here: http://www.momsminivan.com/universal_orlando_tips.html

Also see the review we wrote for Butter Beer from the Wizarding World.

We hope you enjoy the parks as much as we did!

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February 17, 2011   3 Comments

Oddities Attract

Stopping for a crazy road side attraction is something we love to do on a long car trip.  Take a break and give yourselves something to talk about for the next leg of your journey.  I’ll tell you where to find these amusing sights and how to make the most of your stops…

Read the entire article and see some of the crazy road side photos I’ve taken with my family at Oddities Attract – Side tracks Remind You that Half the Fun Is Getting There.

What weird roadside things have you seen lately?!

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July 10, 2010   2 Comments

Paying it Forward

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Lunchables. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fun trips for kids is what I’m all about, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to share this tip with my readers.  Lunchables is sponsoring an initiative called Project Potential with a contest called Field Trips For All where they will be giving away 50 class field trips to classrooms of deserving kids around the country.   Their aim is to help children grow toward their full potential and have experiences that they might not otherwise get to have.  Anyone who is at least 6 years old can enter and nominate a class.

Field trips can really enhance children’s learning experiences outside the classroom.  But with money being so tight lately, field trips are almost always one of the first things trimmed from school budgets. So here’s a chance to give back!

My own children have seen some commercials on TV for this contest recently and were excited to see me writing about it.  Naturally they wanted me to nominate their classes!  And, I have to admit, that was my first thought as well.

However, after a little bit of consideration, I realized that my children are very fortunate to have access to many school field trips during the year. Their schools have very involved parents for the most part, and the financial means to make them happen.  I’ve certainly chaperoned my fair share of class field trips.

So, I have decided to nominate a classroom that has a lot of special meaning for me.  Many of my readers already know that I am a former teacher.  For several years, I taught science at a public school in Memphis, TN.  It is a school that struggles hard, and full of students who don’t have the financial means to afford luxuries like class trips.  Still, I really enjoyed my time there and loved giving of myself to my classes.  My students were so full of potential, and they had to really struggle if they were going to reach it.

So — I’m going to nominate my former classroom!  I want the current science teacher at Sheffield Junior/Sr High School in Memphis, TN to win a field trip!   I have never met the teacher who has my old job, but I know the students there, and no one deserves a class field trip more than they do.

Now, I don’t know if my former students will be as wide-eyed as the 5th graders on this field trip in the following video, but I know they would still relish the opportunity to get some field experiences.

Click Here

Do you  know a classroom who would deserve this opportunity?  Please help me spread the word about this opportunity, and maybe even leave a comment below about who you would like to nominate.  Do good!

Visit my sponsor: Field Trips For All

April 30, 2010   Comments Off

Holden Beach, NC

One of our favorite places.

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April 2, 2010   1 Comment

Multimedia message – Bonnaroo Bound!

Moms’ weekend getaway with friends. In the car line for Bonnaroo! 40 license plates so far!

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June 11, 2009   Comments Off